A chemical peel is an advanced form of skin exfoliation. It is primarily used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, fade sun spots and pigmentation and improve the appearance of dull, aging skin.
During a chemical peel session, the practitioner applies a specially formulated, highly acidic chemical solution to your skin. This solution dissolves and eliminates dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, leaving behind smooth, younger-looking skin.
Today’s chemical peels are a huge improvement in the earlier versions. They are lighter and gentler, with more pronounced results.
3 Types Of Chemical Peels
- Superficial Peel: In this process, a mild acid or alpha-hydroxy acid is used to exfoliate only the outer layer of the skin.
- Medium Peel: In a medium peel, trichloroacetic or glycolic acid is used to exfoliate the outer and middle layers of the skin.
- Deep Peel: A deep peel is the most intensive of the three. In this procedure, Phenol or trichloroacetic acid is applied so that it deeply seeps into the middle layers of the skin.
Is Chemical Peel For Everyone?
Chemical peels are most effective on those who are fair skinned and light haired. Individuals with dark skin tones may not find the chemical peels to be very effective.
It is best not to schedule this procedure if you are nursing or pregnant or if you have broken or cut skin due to an injury or any other reason.
It is also advised against if you have any type of skin disease, rosacea, psoriasis, dermatitis or eczema, or if you have taken Accutane in the last six months.
As always, speak to the practitioner before the procedure and they will give you the best advice.
When Is A Chemical Peel Needed
Chemical peels are the treatment of choice if you want to:
- Minimize the visibility of fine lines around the eyes and mouth
- Address particular kinds of acne
- Treat sun damaged skin
- Reduce dark patches and freckles that occur due to birth control pills
What To Expect After A Chemical Peel Treatment
Although the treatment is safe, you could experience a few reactions immediately after a chemical treatment procedure. Different types of peels present different reactions and require unique follow-up care.
The most common reaction after a peel treatment is redness and scaling that stops within 3-7 days. Medium-depth and deep peeling may cause blisters and swelling but that is temporary. They can break, turn brown and peel off after 7-14 days.
Mild peels can be repeated at around one to four week intervals.
It is advisable to stay away from the sun for a while as your skin will be fragile and tender after the chemical peeling and exposure to the sun can have an adverse reaction.
What Are The Complications When Using Chemical Peels
Chemical peels can sting but they do not burn you. There are no complications related to the procedure but you may see mild signs of scarring. In most cases, this is temporary.
If you are considering a chemical peel treatment, it is a good idea to first make an appointment with the practitioner to determine what the procedure involves. Then assess whether it is for you and understand what you should expect after the procedure is complete. This will help you make a more informed decision.